Valentine’s Day With A Difference This Year
I LOVE Valentines Day. There, I said it. An opinion about as popular as microwaving kittens or supporting Brexit these days, when most people are convinced Valentine’s Day is shamelessly commercial, full of empty gestures and unrealistic expectations. But me, I like to celebrate it. I’m not talking diamond rings and crazily expensive dinners (unless hub’s reading it in which case I definitely am!). I’m talking about taking the chance to stop and appreciate the one you love. Which is why this year I don’t want my husband to take ME to dinner – I want him to take our daughter instead.
She may be only four but her terrible table manners aren’t the reason I want to duck out of dinner. Instead, I’m opting for a night in front of Netflix, vino in hand and takeaway on speed-dial (hey, it’ll be like I’m single again!) because I want her to grow up thinking of Valentine’s Day as a day she felt loved and treasured, not rejected or cast aside.
In the prehistoric days before I was married (anyone else feel like that was 1000 years ago, mamas?), I grew up with two older brothers and a bad haircut. Valentine’s Day in our house was a nightmare – girls would ring up and giggle down the phone and my dad would sweep in late (either from work or the pub) with petrol station flowers that my mum would pretend to like, but secretly sneer at. For me, the letterbox would remain resolutely empty; making me feel so lonely and unloved I almost envied the flowers.
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I vowed it would be different for my daughter. No bad haircuts for a start, but more importantly, no lonely Valentine’s Days. Instead, she’s off on a daddy date to Pizza Express for the full three-course extravaganza and an evening where she gets to feel like the centre of somebody’s world. I know I can’t protect her from future heartbreak but hopefully reinforcing her sense of self from an early age will equip her with the skills to send the wrong teenage boys packing and never spend ‘the day for lovers’ staring wistfully at the letterbox. And who knows, maybe they’ll even bring me back a slice. After all, that’s amore!